Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
Feb 2018 · 948
Fleetwood.
brooke Feb 2018
you came in today
and your eyes looked
a little smaller,
and my hair is
a little longer
a little of just
about everything
happened
in me just then
and I remembered
i am not made of
stone.
(c) Brooke Otto 2018

a poem from december.
Feb 2018 · 777
un petit
brooke Feb 2018
i had a dream i was rising through the trees

i had a dream i was falling through the ground
on docks calling a name i've never known
sitting in empty studies with the lord
calling mine
bad news used to sound like footsteps
down the hallway, used to be my mother's
hand turning the doorknob
and now it is a rotating hubcap
or a night without stars
full yellow moons out over the
complexes in the west
it sounds like empty milk
cartons and the tone of my own voice
it is people demanding that i be open
the most tragic of flaws--

i am meeting people just like me
telling them I want something more
can the wounded want
more?
(c) Brooke Otto 2018

do i have any right?


a draft poem from mid-january.
Feb 2018 · 566
not the one.
brooke Feb 2018
he will tell people
that the Eagles won because we weren't together
that this winter has been so warm
because i took Skaði and hid her
beneath my skin
and this summer will be perfect
because I am not the one.
(c) Brooke Otto 2018

something that's been in my head
Feb 2018 · 393
more lovely.
brooke Feb 2018
i am sure she is
just as radiant in
the sunlight, without
trying, as herself
and you in the doorway
with a mouthful of her
name, light and lovely--

*new.
(c) brooke otto 2018
Feb 2018 · 463
Cact(i)
brooke Feb 2018
last night i dreamed my memories
were lined in quills and nettles
soaking in jars of aloe
they played on underdeveloped
film stock, across slabs of barbary fig--
out in the desert
like a burning bush.
(c) Brooke Otto 2018
Jan 2018 · 402
feuds.
brooke Jan 2018
well i would
disdain 'gainst
the McCoy name
to prove just how
much quarrel has
to do with what
you mean to me.
(c) Brooke Otto 2018
Jan 2018 · 330
balter.
brooke Jan 2018
I love the way books cannot be
unread, cannot erase the sweet oils
and thumbprints like black oak tree rings
they are there for all the slivers
of sunlight and literary cafune
soft knuckles pressed into their
spines
they remind me that while I am not new
I can remain unknown, that though
opened by some I am neither novel lying in wait
or closed into his old bookshelves,
a thin draft in a library of what-ifs
he did not get to k e e p you
however you did, you did
found your
way into other hands, without much grace, albeit,
baltering from home to home
a solivigant prose--

this way, and that, small bind
paperback.
(c) brooke Otto 2017

wildfire by mandolin orange.
Jan 2018 · 283
Contae Lú
brooke Jan 2018
there's a stack of
cheap pianos at
lowtide in County Louth,
Ireland

that reminds me of all
the ways music
should be heard
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Jan 2018 · 333
chicken scratch.
brooke Jan 2018
i don't want each month to
become a benchmark
i can already feel
myself like a steel stiletto
scrawling each day off

anxiously waiting for time
to heal when it's only been
the tick of a metronome to
Scriabin's best

holding the slick undone
slivers of myself together
as wet kindling, an offering
that I hardly know how to give.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

6th.
Jan 2018 · 430
tacenda.
brooke Jan 2018
would he love me
with a bounty on
my head, with two
six shooters and the
audacity to leave

would he love me
with scars scribbled
down my back, the
tacit agenda of every
one before, every thing
ever said,

would he love me
would he love me
with a bounty
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

speaking to all the wrong
Dec 2017 · 322
orfield.
brooke Dec 2017
can medleys
be self-aware
could i recognize
myself in all the
people i've met?
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Dec 2017 · 349
Bulb Heart
brooke Dec 2017
I ain't ever belonged to no one--
not even those that came before,

those frightened immigrants and spanish tangerines tumbling
below deck, toppling into the scattered bed rolls that still smell
like cumin and tarragon, sea and spiced salt seeping through the strong lungs of every youthful San Fermin boy in Pamplona
the raised voices in Seville singing San Jose and my mother's
maiden name--

i fumble in the dark for things to keep me rooted
the strong arms of working men and their weak hearts
barely beating
secondhand boys breathin' dollars an' truck exhaust
lookin' for their match, someone that'll fit
or do 'em just right
sharp things that'll sit pretty and
look good in lowlight,

and me with my tulip bulb heart
plantin' myself in wax, in muck,
in Utqiaġvik, Alaska
during the Polar Nights,
in my palms, beneath pillows, sproutin out the lungs of
those unassumin' who think i'm healin' them
of all the silly, misplaced  ideas

but they got me creepin' out the sides of their cheeks
hookin' these delicate stems
leaving thin perforations all along their sheets
gratin and sharpenin they's teeth--

used to think i was the sun
real pretty and smooth like them stones
you find down near the river
or leaves just 'bout to fall, clingin
to low hangin' branches
just askin to be plucked or swept away
but i'm not any of those things

just a girl
lord, the awful truth
just a girl.
(c) Brooke Otto

get it together.
Dec 2017 · 283
no name.
brooke Dec 2017
there this old
zipliner who wheels
through town, you see'im
ery'where-- at Brother's
and on the corner of Kate's now
Neon's and up just about ev'ry
street in the middle of the night
long hair brushin' the back of his chair--
he's prolly in his late twenties maybe
but they say he came down from the line
and cracked his back on some big stones
near the gorge
an' now he's paralyzed
they say he don't like no one
pitying him, but neither would I, really.
sometimes when I drive past and it's around nine or so
I feel his anger press all 'gainst my doors
over his arms pumpin' up and down.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

small towns.
Dec 2017 · 290
quiet.
brooke Dec 2017
the construction
outside my bedroom window
finally stopped--a groaning
heaviness that rattled my
insides, made me feel like
there was air missin'--
a sound of normal i'd
lost

i turned over in bed
sure as the moon
that it was sunday
up at the dried sycamore seeds
still clinging to the tree
climbing the north facing
wall, twizzling down
against the double paned window

i imagine once all of this is over
that's what it will be like--
a sound of normal i'd
forgotten.
in my drafts from a while ago.

(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Dec 2017 · 226
villains.
brooke Dec 2017
have you ever swam through the dark
and the lights switch haphazardly from on to off
whoever was on the shore has long since gone home
a pair of footprints sunk into the waves

and when you realized you were the villain
did the water become deeper? when he told you to be honest
did you feel every lie creep up your spine? not a shiver
but a steady climb,
each fib a hand dug into a thoracic foramen
squeezing into the spaces you hid your darkest self
a leak in the structure

you're crying give me love
from the bottom of sandy trenches
open palms that are only raging deserts
it's not a question but a statement of fact--
why love the things that still haven't learned
what they want? the weak kneed girls
that leave trails of broken bones and healed boys
slivers of metal wound in their hair
and just enough poison to really '
work it in
be honest he says

*on
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Nov 2017 · 843
nothing/everything.
brooke Nov 2017
when you learned to blow
on hot tea, when you realized
good love wasn't an old wivestale
when your body suddenly became the
least of things to keep a man
and your ego just a badly kept
garden full of weeds and
borers
when you became nothing
dust and bitters, people began to
ask you how you saw yourself
and where humble and quiet
used to stand in you found
an empty ship, wineless drums
everything now seemed alarmingly
true, maybe you weren't more than
the sum--and how long had that been so?
how long had you been tolerable,
how long had beauty been your stand in
for a personality, how long had your hips
spelled your name, gyrating to the
songs you only wished you could sing--


I have only now started to laugh aloud
or walk knowing what's ahead and not
every inch of gravel beneath my feet,
deep breaths are my saving grace
i have traded anxiety for faith
i started dreaming again,
I opened my mouth and
not a single word came out
but i had left port
laden with
more.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Nov 2017 · 248
rock.
brooke Nov 2017
i spoke through a keyhole
come find me
in the middle of the night
god read a chapter out of ephesians
clear as day,
and since then i've been
hearing myself
like my heartbeat been
a tiny pulse, pyura chilensis
split apart to see i am actually
here
I've been beatin' this whole time--

and we learn too fast we made of stardust
but that was all ash and seed
before we ever came along
we've got sweet pea and
cardamom in our bones
all the surly wiles of our mothers
a mix of turpentine and
spanish flame
come find me

and i'm whisperin' back
*alright, i'm comin'
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Nov 2017 · 271
everything and they mama.
brooke Nov 2017
everything, ever'one and they mama
remind me of you
god******
songs you never even sang
and every western movie that doesn't
star Wayne (I kept him for myself)
people drop you in
conversation real casual like
and I still go a little cold
like someone done pour
icewater down the back of my neck
but I can't admit to how much
it still hurts to talk about you
'cause that would be some ***** ****
so I smile and let you roll off my tongue
as if there's not a single thing in the world
that tug at my heartstrings anymore but
you still do


you still do.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Nov 2017 · 313
When You Get the Chance.
brooke Nov 2017
i'm finally sleeping through the night--

and for a couple days I'll wake up and
not think of you at all--
people say your name and it sounds like an old prayer
each syllable a funny amen

I've been shadowboxing myself, my old friend
i've been been relearning to to be comfortable with silence in the end
neither of us kept our promises but that's no unforgivable sin

i've considered a hundred thank yous
all lined up  on the lawn, white pickets to make a nice fence
and sometimes I've stood in my kitchen and stared at the mugs
whispered i don't know myself but that's why
i left, wasn't it?

i'll admit to being jealous of your happiness,
i've only so many faces to keep, and i only want one

it's taken a while to own the fault,
i see  every shameful thing and dust off the
way i used to hold myself

I'm finally sleeping through the night
a little bit heavy, no less able to dream
and i hear part of you like i might
the soft hurt i left in your bed
so, please forgive me
when you get the chance.


please forgive me
when you get the chance.
written to Comfortable with the Silence by Andy Shauf

(c) Brooke Otto



to matt.
Oct 2017 · 348
inveigh.
brooke Oct 2017
i asked nick
what year he
felt was the most
wasted

and he said even
one step is a step
forward--

but there could be
no better embodiment
of anger, it is there every
morning telling me that
he is home that I am
a body, that i am a bad thing
it rides in the bed of
every dodge ram
and permeates every dream
where i hear trumpets echoing
in the mountains, in valleys i stood
with my father and
God's voice thundered from higher
from clouds like a ***** through the earth
heavy rainfall across miles
and miles of unsodden land
and we were crippled
into the dirt--

I asked nick
what year
he felt was
most wasted

and he said even'
one step

is a step


forward.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Oct 2017 · 297
Noh.
brooke Oct 2017
when you are travelers
your conquests are
passages highlighted
in yellow
dog earred pages spoken
in pictographs
but when you are conquests
with velvet letters painted on your back
rooms filled with red thumb tacks
girls with names scrawled all across
their thighs, passport stamps carried
from country to country
milling about with scabby knees and
raw elbows
a noh mask to hide your shame
and not your face
a push pin on an unlisted county
barely within a three mile radius--
he's a photo up on the shelf and
you're just another notch in his belt.
(c) brooke otto 2017


something I had in my notes from last night.
Oct 2017 · 292
let it matter
brooke Oct 2017
i keep tellin myself you don't have to
feel that way, you just gotta find the
right thing, the right song, the right man
and every time I've been on the couch
at the fair, on the floor with
an arm draped around me
and his fingers tracing bittersweet
intentions on my side--
I'm thinking of the  back of your head
of you fingers with the cuticles you never pushed back
of the birthmarks beneath your arms
and of a girl's body that i've never seen naked

because i collapse in on myself and say it's not time
and scientists say that black holes are things from which
light cannot escape but
I am going to let it matter
so when he leans in for a kiss
and i see your hands on her hips
shoulders bunched up in the cold
you're standing out in the snow
truck growling in the driveway
I say it's okay,
i am not out to
bandage the wounds
that need to breathe
I told her I am just
going to let it hurt


i am just going to let it matter.
(c) Brooke Otto

written for a poetry slam, i don't like it until i read it out loud.
Oct 2017 · 572
pyrite
brooke Oct 2017
love a girl like pyrite
when you found me in the mines
shook me from your baskets
saw me glint in the sunlight
said my  irises shifted like tiger's eye
i was never what you thought

love a girl like pyrite
if she's your gold then i'm a
shade of amber, a copper quarter
if I was hard then she is soft and
quick in your hands like a gardner snake
faint and without teeth, tangling through
the grass and you love the silent chase
the girls that flip belly up and
kiss your corners, kiss your
borders, rub away the ash
and lay themselves over your grenades
your sticks of dynamite you blew
me away with

love a girl like pyrite
because I was a fool's gold,
the normal luster of something
grand, sieved through your tables
back into the river, the unspoken
daughters of not-good-enough
lying in wait, picked up by farmers
by men who sell, who hock, who
pawn, washed down in Vindicator Valley
run between thumbs, turned up amongst
rocks the ordinary, run-of-the-mill
we can only be imitators of
the greatest


love a girl, who's fool's gold
would you find her?
would you keep her?
(c) Brooke Otto 2017


a phrase that's been on my my mind for a weekq
Oct 2017 · 318
chlorine trifluoride.
brooke Oct 2017
this message has
been on my lips
a train of thought
stuck to the tracks
woven between teeth
a mesh of necklace
lodged behind my ramus
a chain of words working
into my tongue
i am convinced there is
less light than I thought
that i have never smoked
a cigarette in my life but
i am blacker and deeper
than any ravaged lungs
made of  about as much water
that sees Atacama
on a good day
and I am

raging.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Oct 2017 · 275
40:31.
brooke Oct 2017
those wings on your
back weren't meant to
keep you up forever--
even eagles land
clouds dissipate
and great travelers
come down off the
mountains.
(c) brooke otto 2017



good morning.
Oct 2017 · 256
in their clothing.
brooke Oct 2017
do all wild things
return home?

I used to say I wasn't--
that the blood of kinder animals
ran through me
                                      (although that may still be true)
I think i've bed down with coyotes
made off with predators
dressed in spots and stripes--
but could i have reaped
the benefits of a life so severe?
                  we are all wild in our own
varying ways
                                 not all of us howl or rage
some of us leave home and
feign courage, pull on our
faces, don't hunt or scout but
wander, and the others all
convene and say
              you are so unlike yourself
and the worst don't even ask and
say they like this new you--

this new you
a lost you
wild is not always
is not allways.
and I am not always

picking my way back
with little knowledge
of scents and markings
the lay of the wind
is all foreign
because I am not
truly a

wild

thing.
(c) Brooke Otto


many miles to go before i sleep.



something from my journal.
Sep 2017 · 308
To be, To go.
brooke Sep 2017
all i've wanted is to sleep

to tip over and land
soak in distilled whiskey
like arthropods preserved
in amber, except me
lost in an extended
trance, dissolving
into resins, ointments
oils--

i don't want to feel trapped
i fear me leaving more
than anything else,
me leaving to beat
the traffic, catch the
train, board the bus
to Abilene
a roundtrip
god I'm
tired of tryin'
so
hard.
(c) Brooke Otto


tryin' so hard to stay.
to go, to do, to be
to say.
Sep 2017 · 544
sun dog.
brooke Sep 2017
what do you call that--in the morning?
between dried citrus fruits, orange and
lemon pinwheels strung on fishing wire
persimmon and crystalized cinnabar
soft bread rolls wrapped in muslin
with filtered sun refracting
through the crown glass
around her head like parhelion--
and she touches the spices
sumac, saffron, fennel, mustard seeds
and she touches the dishcloths
and she touches
and she touches
and she touches.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Sep 2017 · 258
Counting.
brooke Sep 2017
over the last few months
you couldn't put a number
to how many times i've thought
about you Matt,

how many angry drives I've sped
through the twisted wind channels
of brush hollow and stood at the
outcrop looking towards the dam--

the ungodly mornings spent staring
at my right arm stretched across the pillow
not even thinking about you but also him

this translucent idea of a man that
might exist, thin as a wafer and
constantly fading

how often i pulled up your name
and stared at the trees in my yard
or the sunsets or the moon that
was gratingly beautiful and was
just ******

but the amount of time it
takes my soul to ease into it is
shortening now, and all the
things I missed back then
the traits and bits that
flew silently beneath
the radar are all coming to
light

and I am realizing how blind
it all was, how constructed
the lies were, how I was
never the perfect girl for you
i just tried so desperately to be--

and the strangest people are
speaking into my life at
the most unexpected moments
I don't think i've got you  nailed down--
could it be that it's because you don't
quite know yourself either?


How funny,
how true
maybe all that this was
and all that you were--
a catalyst on the way
to figuring it out
but I shouldn't give too
much thought to the potter
or the ***

you were a blessing either way.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017


nothing special, just something i've been thinking about.
Sep 2017 · 252
Books, Pages.
brooke Sep 2017
blake said something
interesting, prefaced by
i told you i'm not educated
as if he's begun every sentence
with that since he could believe
himself--

i just thought ya'll had
to be in the same book, maybe
not on the same page--


and he laid his hands out on his
lap as if he were tryin' to read himself

and ya'll are just different books
and i figured
maybe that was so
maybe we were two
fictions in the wrong
section--maybe I was
paperback, maybe I am
prose, maybe I am an anthology
of asides, of footnotes and maybe
you weren't even a book
just a slip of sheet music
to mark my chapter--


dunno, I say, laughing.
but I should go home now.




I should go home now.
(c) brooke otto 2017
Sep 2017 · 324
Somatoform.
brooke Sep 2017
there is more to it all
than running away,
which i have always
and never done

i used to cap my
bones in steel
wash them over with
milk, stand at the river's
edge and feel myself sink
in the pierce,
without ever wading
out,
you could call it a somatic
symptom, as if blowing away
were a disorder--
and yet feeling heavy
enough to sink a thousand
ships but they
should know i'm
no Helen.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Sep 2017 · 782
Breaking and Entering.
brooke Sep 2017
people only knock

for the warmth, outstay

their welcome,

i've never wanted to

love quickly

i want to lay each

brick, caulk every corner

and be

*sure
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Sep 2017 · 722
Like You.
brooke Sep 2017
that old song by
eric church still
makes me hurt

anything that
moves, the green
grass and the trees
turnin' colors, I'm
sittin out on the porch
beggin' them leaves
not to fall,

I'm not ready
I tell them, what new
girl's soul have you settled
in, made your nest in the
rafters like I did in your ribs--
you remember,
girls like me

girls like me.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017


this day by day thing.
Sep 2017 · 371
honey, maple, cane.
brooke Sep 2017
this must be the place


my father put bread inside
the ceramic jar filled with
muscovado in the kitchen,
where my tiny hands splayed
out and stuck to the counters

it'll soften it, he says

for his lack of affection
I took what I could get
i must have soaked in
Darjeeling for years
an unrefined sugar cube
too bonded to dissolve
like all children that
want from their fathers--

I suppose.

a little girl peeking
over the tile, wondering
what other types of things
bread could make soft--
her
maybe.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Sep 2017 · 256
things said & me.
brooke Sep 2017
it is nice until you decide to come back



i thought it was the evening
in the trees but the
leaves really are yellow
much like myself and
you
were we ever really
green? this coastline
is lonely but I feel
myself for the first time
scrolls of soft skin
and black hair--all
the wrong i've ever
done in boxes, manifesting
in headaches, i am *sad

a faint hint of optimism
on the rocks
in the sea, breaking
against the cliffs
the waves come
together but I
haven't
been.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

been afraid to say it.
Aug 2017 · 390
fond.
brooke Aug 2017
it's not as easy to imagine
your fingers as they used
to be, all these men have
had the same scars--

sometimes I see myself
here or there in a smaller body
from months ago, i wonder
about how i fell for you,
the night i was supposed to
go to Salida, up on Bellino
land before the drop off,
not leaving a single poem
out, because I wanted to be
heard and you heard

a grainy memory backlit
in your headlights, all just
crumpled tin cans and
riddled pigeon casings

i have never been good
             at
remembering the bad,
i have taken many deep
breaths, scraped and pulled
the threads from my steering
wheel, rubbed fingernail fissures
from my palms

i hope you come upon
true happiness, revelations
that clear barrel and hit the mark
i hope you find truth in all your anger
that one day you see me and
say
hello.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Aug 2017 · 286
Warm Lemonade.
brooke Aug 2017
when love comes,
i hope he waits.

(in that spacce)

that by then my door
will be open, and the
house will be clean,

that he will wander
through the living room
for the first time since I
had been broken, when
he couldn't even find his
way through the mess--

a walking phenomenon
gliding through the kitchen
and out the backdoor,
when you come, love,
and the backdoor slams
i am knee deep in dried
leaves and ****,
wielding nothing but
yard tools and not
my heart chained to
the end of a virge
nothing but the
elegant vengance
towards wasps and
gardner snakes

both briefly carrying
heiligenschein against
the grass but

you will find i am
made of sweat and
warm lemonade
a pair of knees
embedded with
pebbles and clover
leaves,

love, bring your tools,
bring your faith,
the flint only i can
knap and I,
only you can
spark.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Aug 2017 · 311
Thin Daisy.
brooke Aug 2017
he kept asking why i was
making the face

what, you don't believe me?
no, I don't.

in fact everything he said had
a metallic ring, everything slid
too easily out of his mouth,
workin his tongue like it
had a slit or flossed his
teeth with thin fibs
don't take off their
boots 'cause they
know they gonna run

and it's funny 'cause
that's what I'm trying
not to do,

well if you have
to write a song about it
is it lifted from your heart?
did you press yourself
between the pages like a
daisy?

I did,





I did.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Aug 2017 · 465
woodshed.
brooke Aug 2017
he* brought me out to the
                                     woodshed

gently opens the back door
but it slams behind us, pneumatic
cylinder busted so it catches my heels
and i slide off the last step
into the gravel and his steel-toes--

he silently brushes through the
prairie drop seed and mexican
feathergrass, nothing but an oil
stained back lumbering amidst the switch
eventide shivelight striking through
the creases in his ears

full of his old tools, horses,
hidden shelves--
and i've gone cold since
we left the house, a
**** frost set out
on my limbs 'cause
i know i done wrong
all the blessed evidence
up and down and that's
before he starts to turn--

ungive.

ungive.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Aug 2017 · 811
between the trees.
brooke Aug 2017
did you think i was a dream?


oh, how I tried to be.


thin and watery, made to


fit around you so that you


might say I were the crepuscular rays


sheafs of sunlight held up like


taut ropes tied to the ledge


of heaven.
(c) brooke Otto 2017
Aug 2017 · 294
Old Wallpaper
brooke Aug 2017
I will rewrite history.



will decoupage the walls and lay
today's newspapers across our scripts
notated phone calls between
you                  and                 i

will let the past be the past  but
i will scumble it over in red alkyd flat
line the hairlines with vicuna threads
and  braided burlap

will let the sink run till it
lifts edges of the counter,
soapstone memorials we
built to emphasize our
bitter weaknesses for
eachother to live up to
till everything runs between
the floorboards
everything about you             and                 i
will bubble up and release
gently snap and move apart
we were no mettalurgists
but we tried--
to be as hard as all get up
iconel hearts stripping
eachother and you
bought out, you win
you're the alloy
and I am
raw skin and soul


but  I willl not be
bothered by the upheaval
as much as i break apart
(because I have been)
making a fool of myself
but i have hope that something
new will crack the casing
i am leaving in the quietest
way possible
relocating
he left months ago
and i am just starting to pack
my things but i wouldn't have
it any other way--
have you ever tried to force a
purge?

here i am,
here it is

the runoff.
(c) Brooke otto 2017


something I started writing before bed last night.
Jul 2017 · 328
nahum.
brooke Jul 2017
it has been storming so often

in the evenings he rolls over the city

so come down and meet me;
in the rain if you must--

I am too raw to do much else

most things ***** and push

but if this is the dust of your feet
then I'd lie in your wake
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Jul 2017 · 373
Baikal.
brooke Jul 2017
WHY'S YOUR DADDY GOT BLUE EYES?


it was never so much a question I heard
as much as one i thought, why's my daddy got blue eyes?

i used to peel this picture out
of the floral decopauge box
a sepia toned senior photo
of him in a varsity jacket
a wide spanish grin and
my full lips,
leonard scrawled on the
back, and why's your daddy got blue eyes?

I have always felt alone in this
body, a bit of my mother and none
of a father, have always
hated this brown
this skin filled with
shade, in the shadow
of girls with lean limbs
and long hair the color
of satin flower,
viridian eyes
that smile without tryin'
and long slender fingers
that'd be good for playin'
with children and kissing--

i have never
seen myself as anything else
than muddy water
always heavy, full
of sand, steaming earth
in the grasslands, dense
and bitter like orange rinds
too round, too full,
bubbling with all a manner
of pith and marrow
quick down in the mire
fixed into the silt

I have reached for the men
like the one in the photo,
dark and ethnic, pleading
for affirmation, that there
is beauty in brown, in
dusk, that I do not
have to be Rotomairewhenua
clear and effortless
that I can easily be
fresh and still
full of depth
and darker
hues.

why has my daddy got blue eyes, I wonder?
Rotomairewhenua is the clearest lake in the world.  It's in New Zealand.

Baikal is the deepest.
Jul 2017 · 313
Spate.
brooke Jul 2017
i like to remember that
waves still form in part
due to ocean basins

that my intuition
skims along the floors
and only reverberates
all that it finds to the top,

so maybe if I better
understood the reasoning
the seat of my heart, the crux
of why I am, this turbulence
would come a little easier,

the combers,  though heavy
and unyielding--predictable,
navigable, waters I can
sail on.
(c) Brooke Otto
Jul 2017 · 842
Rich.
brooke Jul 2017
i went back through
my old pieces

and it all became so
bleached,

white sugar, white rice,
skim milk, I used to be
so rich, cream, honey
oak sap,

I wrote and it felt
natural, saw in
words and coffee
hues, tastes and
teaspoons clinking
bowls rolling, counters
covered in  flour
batter running into the
sink and onto my
feet, i could bake
bread on my palms
leavened and without
yeast

i wrote like everything
was alive because it was
because it is


because I am.
read a lot of my stuff from last spring, i've always been cautious about becoming too wordy. I have this conception about how i should write poetry and what sounds pretentious--i get really caught up in how other people read my stuff.  Anyway, I've been censoring myself over the past few months because someone told me to 'stop using such big words' and 'say what I really feel'.  But this is what I really feel, in big words and really
long drawn out flower analogies.
Jul 2017 · 295
gravel.
brooke Jul 2017
lately when it rains

and it pulls at all
the earth, humid and
oaky,

i wonder if it brings
the same out in me,

summer sweat, the
whos and wheres
buried down deep.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Jul 2017 · 245
after.
brooke Jul 2017
i am tired of chasing
the people that don't
exist and feeling lied
to far after the fact,
so long down this
road that I no longer
have the right to ask--
were you, did you?
did she, was she?
i am hurt by all
the moments I allowed
myself to be involved in
that only served to show
what a silly fool I was
for not discerning soon
enough, for not saving myself
preserving something I'd always
held in high regard and now
it just feels stolen or dead
and I am ashamed to
wonder who could love me now
after that, after he,
after


after.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017
Jul 2017 · 290
sorrys, icecaps.
brooke Jul 2017
I miss you
you don't know how much*
the rest is incohorent, he keeps
saying sorry, over and over.

I guess I understand why, now.
the apologies, the childlike way
he'd turn and burrow into my
shoulder--something he'd
hardly done before

maybe I didn't understand
the reasoning behind the things
he would have liked, but the pain
was always so palpable
a heavy ache, a lonesome ache--

I hope all the blackest things
are the farthest from you,
and that you recede from
the places that only bring
temporary comfort,
i hope that you heal,
that all the ways you
have frozen over will
thaw, not a bitter thing
to be found,

i hope that the bees
find you sweet, Matt
because you are and I did,
you are not a body of
the things people have said

breathe, in and out


in and out.
with me,
in and out.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

started this back in june. finished today.
if you still read, at all. I want the best for you.
Jul 2017 · 218
close the door.
brooke Jul 2017
when you are making love and he cannot
call your name, his body covered in gashes
and half of them are not even from your
teeth,

after you have shown up at
two am to cry into his shoulder
blades, driving him wild with
your tears that he believes unjustified

to not know what you've seen
until days later, realizing the
dark haired girl was not just
any dark haired girl

if you are holding his head
while he breathlessly mutters
secrets, you have given your
heartbeat up as a lullaby
leaving at midnight
like the dirtiest cinderella
so he will not have to feel
ashamed about the
blonde hairs all over his
bedspread

you leave quietly
and close the
door behind you
when you are off work
when you lock the house
when the moonlight is spread
out across brush hollow and he
says you are ruining everything

close the door.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

Written on June 18th.
Jul 2017 · 248
the good things.
brooke Jul 2017
songs i've never
even shown you
remind me of your
dark hair, more puerto
rican than swede
sometimes you'd
snap at your mom
jokingly in spanish
and it took a hell of
a will to not sink fingers
into your hips or feel
up your spine,









how much of
me is drowned out
in a well of bad
do you think
of me at all?
Next page